|29" (Jack in background for scale)|
It's hard to believe we are already halfway through summer. Seems like it was just a week ago we were fighting snow on our first changeover day. Time sure can fly.
Beyond the calendar, there are several other markers of the season's maturation. The mayfly hatch has now come and gone, lake weed beds are fully developed, trees and shrubs are starting to bear fruit, days are noticeably shorter, and the fish are beginning to descend in the water column as surface temps. flirt with 70.
Fishing reports from the outposts have been good. Some of the lakes did see a dip in action last week as the walleyes feasted on the abundant mayflies. Others reported no slow down at all, but did note that gullets and stomachs were often full of Hex's.
The most recent reports have all described fast walleye action and voracious pike.
|South Lake monster|
We have not had much in the way of wind or waves as of late (although this may change by this afternoon with a severe batch of storms that are trending this direction). As such, there is a fairly steep thermocline between the surface and waters another few feet down. Walleyes at Central seem to be relating to this. Many being caught in 4-5'. Lighter presentations for these depths (and for fish through the mayfly hatch) have been favored. 1/4 oz jigs and slightly small twister tails (2") have proven deadly. It has also been possible to sight fish - casting to individual shapes readily visible on sunny days. Other fisher-folk have had success trolling (relatively) shallow water crankbaits. Again, smaller sizes seemed to be preferred as the fish get over their mayfly glut.
It won't be long till the walleye start diving down, however, and a step up in jig size will help get bait down too. I like 3/8 oz. through most of the second half of summer, sometimes it's worth throwing in a few 1/2 oz. jigs the tackle box just in case.
The hot northern lure at Central has been a 6" red and black streamer pattern presented via fly-rod. We are starting to see a lot more fly-fishing converts up here. If nothing else, it offers a whole new set of challenges (and occasional frustrations).
Groups at the outposts were all out fishing during our round of camp checks the past two days. Hopefully we'll have some updates to relay when we stop in again mid-week.
We were fortunate to get a decent rainfall last week, but the fire activity and water levels remain extremely high and low respectively. The biggest fire in the area is on the south shore of Sandy Lake near the community of Keewaywin. It is currently about a quarter million acres in size and has forced the total evacuation of that town. It is also the fire responsible for a good deal of the smoke some of you may be seeing south of the border. "Sorry," as we say here in Canada.
As stated, there is a strong batch of thunderstorms moving in now. We could certainly use the rain, but would just as soon it not come with the lightning for fear of sparking more fires.
Hoping for a good drenching rain and some tight lines before and after.
Ps. Huge thanks to the Batten Bunch for submitting your photos!
|Sunrise at South Lake|